Moral Bearing: The Paradox of Choice, Anxiety and Responsibility in Taiwan

  • Li-Wen Shih


This chapter explores the complexity of prenatal screening and testing in Taiwan. Based on ethnographic observations, interviews with pregnant women and couples and participants’ drawings, the chapter documents the anxieties that women experience during pregnancy. In the context of routine medical practices, women are constructed as responsible, decision-making subjects; this tends to deepen anxieties as women imagine having a disabled child. The term “moral bearing” is used to suggest that in Taiwan, women’s reproductive decision-making is entangled with health care policy, the concept of you sheng (“superior birth”), medical practices, medical professionals and interactions with family members.


Reproductive choice Moral bearing Prenatal screening and testing You sheng 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Li-Wen Shih
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate Institute of Humanities in Medicine, Taipei Medical UniversityTaipeiTaiwan

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